Standard Chartered: Crypto Winter Is Over, Bitcoin Could Hit US$100,000 By End-2024
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Standard Chartered Bank has forecasted that top cryptocurrency Bitcoin could see an increase of 268% from its current value to US$100,000 (approximately RM443,700) by the end of 2024. This is as the bank believes that the current “crypto winter” – defined as a prolonged period of poor performance in the crypto market since late 2021 – has begun to thaw.

“The recent banking sector crisis has helped to re-establish Bitcoin’s core use case as a decentralised, trustless, and scarce digital asset,” said the bank’s head of forex research, West, and digital assets research, Geoff Kendrick in a note. This is in reference to the recent downfall of several notable banks, namely US regional banks, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, as well as Switzerland’s Credit Suisse.

Additionally, economists are of the opinion that the US Federal Reserve may end its interest rate-hiking cycle soon, given that 2023 may see a “short and shallow” recession. This move by the US Federal Reserve, in turn, is expected to help stabilise risk assets in general (including cryptocurrencies).

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“Against this backdrop, Bitcoin has benefited from its status as a branded safe haven, a perceived relative store of value and a means of remittance,” said Kendrick, who also believes Bitcoin’s share of the total digital assets market cap will eventually rise to sit within the 50% or 60% range. This is in comparison to the current 45%, or 40% before the SVB collapse.

Kendrick also opined that Bitcoin’s value will be driven higher by its next halving, which is expected to happen some time between April to May 2024. Briefly, halving refers to the occurrence where the number of new Bitcoins – and the incentives for mining them – is cut in half (takes place after every 210,000 blocks are produced). This essentially caps supply, thereby raising the value of Bitcoin and the opportunity to profit.

Additionally, Kendrick’s optimism is fuelled by the possibility of more favourable regulations towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as well. For instance, the European Parliament has recently passed the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, which is expected to “provide a tailwind” for Bitcoin. “Further positive regulatory steps in the US and UK are also likely,” he said.

(Image: Reuters/Johanna Geron)

Bitcoin – and the crypto market in general – had had a rather tumultuous time over the past two years, due primarily to events such as the collapse of cryptocurrency Luna and stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) in May 2022, followed by the downfall of crypto exchange FTX in November 2022. These led to a plunge in Bitcoin’s value, dropping beneath US$20,000.

Recent times have shown some signs of recovery for Bitcoin, however. For instance, just two weeks ago, Bitcoin’s value breached US$30,000 (although it has fallen once again since then). At the time of writing, it is trading at approximately US$27,300.

(Sources: Malay Mail, The Edge Singapore)

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